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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: December 2008

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

If you like us, tell someone...and have them tell someone...and

I'm having a little trouble getting into the holiday spirit this year, but it's not the first time for me.

My last career was in retail as a store manager for Service Merchandise in Fishkill, New York. It was a fun, huge square footage location that I closed on Christmas Eve 11 years ago.

Every floor display was 50 percent off, we still were selling items during the Christmas rush and I actually had one teenage cashier burst into tears at her station with 10 people in line and quit on the spot.

I would find out a week later that I would be the first of 431 stores to close and "There was no room at the Inn" for me and my time was appreciated, but unfortunately over.

That allowed me to move to the Capital Region and then luck out in finding the best job I have ever held in my life.

Now things are looking bleak once again, not only for me, but for all of us.

Banks are receiving bailouts, families are losing their homes, car manufacturers are taking extended vacations and newspapers are on the brink of disaster.

Layoffs about in the industry and have hit not only in my location, but also effected my friends throughout the state.

As you may have read in this week's Community News, we have cut our mail delivery to areas outside of Clifton Park in a cost savings move.

Here's the skinny. It costs 15 cents to mail you a Community News and we mailed out 30,000 every week. That's $4,500 in postage per week, $234, 000 per year. Our sales staff, which has mainly consisted of "Diamond" Dave Slusarszyk has worked his bald head off for years, but that's a big chuck of change to bring in each week to meet the bottom line. Add in newsprint cost and ink, a delivery driver and then the staff.

Our staff, in case you wondered..three. Donna Bell, my third official editor in 11 years, "Golden" Glenn Griffith on the news side and yours truly. And none of us are making a king's ransom.

Bottom line...It's not easy being free.

So here is my Christmas wish, (Yes I said Christmas!), wish...tell someone how much you like the Community News as well as our daly product, The Saratogian, and that you read it every day or every week.

Now I've been fortunate to hear kind words over the years, more than any job I've ever had and each one is greatly appreciated. Now I need to ask that you pass those kind thoughts on to each and every business you frequent in Southern Saratoga County.

Let them know you saw their ad in the Community News while you're shopping. Ask them to advertise in the Community News. Ask them to become a weekly drop point for the Community News if you live in Mechanicville, Ballston Lake, Burnt Hills, Waterford, Halfmoon and Malta.

Remind them that it's the Community News that is at each week's school board meetings, town board meetings and sporting events. It's "your paper" and you really like and would like to see it continue.

This post comes after reading about three weeklies closing in the Philadelphia area last week and a whopping 16 closing in Connecticut announced last Friday by our corporate parent, Journal Register Company.

We're not closing the doors, that's not the plan, but we sure would like to get some help from our friends, like you, the reader.

Enjoy the holidays, I've got some vacation time to use up before Jan. 1, a quick sledding trip on the Eve to see my parents in Binghamton and then back at the keyboard doing what I love to do, write about our local sports stars.

I wish you all the best to you, your family and your friends.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What a day for Coach Ricupero

First-year varsity ice hockey coach Mike Ricupero had one of his longest days at the helm of the Saratoga Blue Streak squad Friday.

The Saratoga Springs teacher was awakened at 5:15 a.m. Friday to learn that school had been cancelled due to the winter storm. - Good News.

He already had a planned day off to take two graduate class finals on-line. - Good news.

He then realized that he had no power at his Clifton Park home. - Bad news.

No power, no internet, no coffee, no hot shower. - More bad news.

As he drove around looking for wireless, more than 20,000 in Saratoga County were also without power, including 10,000+ in Clifton Park. - Even worse news.

He then spent five hours at Uncommon Grounds in Saratoga taking his two grad finals. - Not so bad news.

His damn phone wouldn't stop ringing! - Ugh! Really bad news!

The 8th annual Don Kauth Memorial Tournament was still on. - Good news.

The 8th annual Don Kauth Memorial Tournament was not on. - Bad news.

Repeat the last two items three more times. - Crazy news.

Finally, officially the Don Kauth Memorial Tournament was officially on. - Finally good news.

With two tests completed, the tournament underway, Ricupero and his Blue Streaks won their opening round contest, a 3-1 win over Liverpool, story here.

He still doesn't have power at home. - Still bad news.

His Blue Streaks face Oswego Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. - Good news.

Hopefully he did well on the two exams and he'll have power back Saturday night. - Hopeful news.

This is probably just one of many long days as a varsity coach. - Bad news.

I don't think he'd trade it for anything in the world. - Good news for all.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stevens goes for 1,500th point on the road...maybe

Saratoga Springs High School senior and Holy Cross-bound forward Jordan Stevens will look to gain his 1,500th point Friday night on the road against Mohonasen.

Jordan scored 14 points Tuesday night, coming up 16 short of the career mark.

The mark didn't appear to be a must for the shooter and he may choose to look for a win Friday and earn the 1,500-mark at home Tuesday against rival Shenendehowa.


We'll find out if the contest gets off with the slick, snowy, icy weather upon us.

Blogger update Friday: Mother Nature must be a rivalry fan, dumping a slew of ice, snow and just a big mess on us Thursday evening and Friday morning.

The winter storm cancelled schools throughout the Capital Region and left thousands without power, cancelling Friday's slate of high school contests, including Saratoga's tilt against Mohonasen.

Now Stevens can rest up and look to drop a bucketload of points, or just enough to break the record at home in front of a hopefully packed house against Shenendehowa.

I couldn't have planned it any better, myself.

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Saratoga girls 4th, BH girls 8th, Shen boys 7th at Nike Nationals

New York State proved to the Mecca for girls cross country running Saturday morning after the Fayetteville-Manlius XC Club claimed its third consecutive Nike Cross National title in Portland, Oregon and three Section II runners proved to be in the top 10 in the nation.

Adirondack XC (Queensbury) saw Danielle Winslow lead New York State and the section across the finish line Saturday morning at the 2008 Nike Cross Nationals, formerly the Nike Team Nationals, and her Queensbury High School teammates to a fifth-place team finish for the first time at the national team cross country championship.
Shenendehowa freshman Lizzy Predmore was sixth overall, competing for the Clifton Park XC Club as an individual and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake runner Sam Roecker was ninth overall leading the Burnt Hills XC Club to an eighth-place team finish in its second appearance.

The KineticXC Club (Saratoga Springs) earned a fourth-place finish overall with 193 points, just behind Wilmington, Delaware with 182, second-place Santa Clara XC with 135 and first-place Fayetteville-Manlius with 66 points.

The Kinetic female harriers captured the first-ever Nike Team National event in 2004 before finishing second in 2005 and third in 2007. Burnt Hills finished in fifth-place in 2007.

The only Section II boys squad entered in the contest, the Clifton Park XC Club finished in seventh-place with 222 points, moving up from a 14th-place finish in 2007and a best-ever sixth-place finish in 2006.

For the full results visit as I'm working on a quick re-cap for the newspaper.

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